How stronger hurricanes are damaging our infrastructure

Cisco Garcia , Staff Writer

It has been about a month since the landfall of Hurricane Ian, which left many in the Fort Worth area of Florida displaced. Of course, due to the damage in that area, now they must rebuild. Hurricane Ian was one of the costliest storms to ever hit Florida. 

Hurricanes like these are becoming more frequent because of climate change and it is damaging our infrastructure. 

Hurricanes are becoming much stronger than they have been in the past. They are also becoming more frequent. Climate change is creating warmer oceans which are breeding grounds for hurricanes to form; these warmer temperatures are also fueling these storms to become stronger than before.  

Along with warmer temperatures, rising sea levels are making the storms tougher to deal with than before. Also, higher sea levels contribute to higher storm surges during hurricanes, which cause massive flooding in coastal areas. This is shown recently with Hurricane Ian causing record-breaking storm surges last month in the Fort Myers area of Florida.  

Increased damage from these strengthened hurricanes is becoming more frequent. Just in 2021, the total cost for hurricanes was $145 billion, making this the third most costly year on record, behind 2017 and 2005. Because of these damage costs, families in Florida are paying more to rebuild than before. Although they may have insurance, it may not be enough. In Florida, the average cost of flood insurance is $723 per year. Florida is within the Top 10 states of residents living paycheck to paycheck. This means that most families may not be able to afford these additional payments of insurance. Only about 18% of Florida homes are covered by flood insurance, according to the Insurance Information Institute.  

In addition to flood insurance, other insurances may be needed to cover the full extent of hurricanes. An all-in-one hurricane policy does not exist, so a combination of insurances is needed to pay for the full damage of a hurricane. 

As hurricanes get stronger due to climate change, it’s time we strengthen our infrastructure to handle these more frequent weather patterns. If we keep rebuilding the way we have been, the costs are just going to keep rising.  

This means that we should be rebuilding new infrastructure to withstand these new standards of hurricanes. Along with rebuilding, older buildings need to be renovated. New building codes need to be put into effect too. Although these solutions may take time, it will reduce the amount of damage due to stronger hurricanes.